(FiveNation.com)- Just one day before Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary, Lancaster County’s Republican commissioners voted to remove a ballot drop box that was placed at the entrance of the county government building that houses the board of elections office.
County commissioner Ray D’Agostino said the commissioners felt having a ballot drop box 20 to 30 yards away from the board of elections office building was unnecessary.
The box in question was installed after a Lancaster County judge ruled that the commissioners had violated the law when they failed to post public notice before considering whether to have the drop box outside the board of elections. The judge’s ruling came after the ACLU of Pennsylvania sued Lancaster County, claiming the decision violated Pennsylvania’s open meeting law.
About 60 people attended the public meeting where commissions voted to remove the drop box.
D’Agostino said it wasn’t a question of physical security, but rather, making sure that people are following state law and only putting their own ballot into the box. For this election cycle, D’Agostino explained, neither the sheriff nor board of elections staff has the time to constantly monitor the drop box.
D’Agostino argued that given how short-staffed they are, it is just “more efficient and more effective” to have voters come inside the building to drop off their ballots.
But of course, the Democrats are not happy.
Lancaster County Democrat Committee chair Diane Topakian blasted the decision, saying that removing the single drop box is “part of a national trend” by Republicans to “suppress voting rights” and “disempower” and “disenfranchise” people.
It was a drop box right outside of the board of elections office, Diane. Nobody is being “disempowered,” or “disenfranchised” simply because they have to walk an additional 30 yards into the building to drop off their ballot.
Honestly, Democrats are such drama queens.
One voter, however, told the local ABC affiliate that maintaining “voting integrity is at the very heart of our democracy.” Lancaster County resident Richard Myers told WHTM-27 that election integrity matters more to him than “voting convenience.”